Collection Item Summary:
This box contained a metal Rosko Astronaut toy, a tin toy manufactured in Japan for export to Western markets. In the 1950s and 1960s, its maker, Nomura, specialized in producing robot-themed metal toys, including several versions of an unlicensed "Robby" robot based on the popular robot character from the film "Forbidden Planet" (MGM, 1956). In post-WWII Japan, producing these metal toys began as a way to tap into an international market for "penny toys" or cheap playthings, but developed by the late 1950s into a industry manufacturing creatively-designed, complex toys with moving parts and lights that competed successfully with Western toymakers. This Rosko battery-powered astronaut, which can be viewed as either a human space traveler or a futuristic robot, blended the American fascination with outer space with the Japanese fad for robots.
The Gewirz family donated this toy to the Museum in 2006.